wow, it is surprising to see gain this kind of feedback from dev. team. I am impressed. Gratitude and respect for listening & answering community ;)
But just to clarify for anybody else, the Steam version of Hegemony doesn't use their DRM Really? I thought 99,99% of Steam games uses this crapy costumer-bullying technique. Thumbs up for those who live free of DRM shackles!
Rome does feature a completely new upgrade system that allows you to use XP to promote a wide variety of officers in your legion which add additional abilities to your units. A similar system also allows you to build upgrade buildings for your cities. The "heroes" or generals in Rome will still have fixed skills but there are now a lot more variations than the four skills in Gold. You can also assign generals to be city "governors" which will apply applicable bonuses to the city.
The reason cities don't really grow in Gold/Rome is because the games were meant to model a relatively short period of history (10-20 years) where you wouldn't have seen huge shifts in population. We also wanted to keep the focus on the military aspects rather than on growing cities.
For both points, I understand why you want to keep heroes/towns steady in campaings. Your Macedon campaing in Gold could very well be used as a teaching aid for history lessons in my opinion :-) However in sandbox these principles seems to be a bit limitation. For the sake of replayability having the posibility to expand town and shape your own heroes would be a great advantage.
You're correct that you do always want to connect your cities but, particularly later on, you will find the number of connections is limited and you'll need to make choices which cities you want to connect to each other.
Well, but if I understand right you only need one link amongst all cities and food/recruit will be redistributed. Only benefit from direct connection between city full of food and starving cities will be the speed of food transport? Maybe I am jsut not getting it right, it is totally new aspect I have never seen in any other game.
Thanks a lot for your replies.